President Uhuru Kenyatta today appointed veteran South Sudan peace mediator General Lazaro Sumbeiywo to mediate the ongoing Â conflict in South Sudan with a view to finding lasting peace.
The appointment was made in a speech to the special IGAD heads of state summit meeting in Nairobi earlier today.
General Sumbeiywo, appointed by former president Moi in 2001 to negotiate the Sudan Crisis under the auspices of Â IGAD which led to the historic signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2005 establishing the semi-autonomous South Sudan and the process of the referendum after which the World’s newest state was born.
Gen Sumbeiywo would later write a memoir, The Mediator, detailing his rare achievement ofÂ reconciling the hardline positions Â held by the then two combatants to the two-decade South Sudan conflict which ended in 2005, Sudan President’s Omar Al-Bashir and SPLM leader Dr John Garang’. Interestingly, Dr Garang’s special representative to the negotiations at Machakos was Salva Kiir, the current president embroiled in a new war with erstwhile opponent, Dr Riak Machar.
General Sumbeiywo’s return to Sudan will be keenly watched, as he talks the inter-ethnic strife pitting South Sudanese against their fellow citizens. One of the people under house arrest is Dr Garang’s widow, Rebecca Garang
In the IGAD summit, President Kenyatta also proposed another mediator (unnamed) who may come from any of the IGAD member states.